Let’s keep it simple. OK? We call it theft when someone’s belongings (money, food, drinks, clothes, shoes, etc.) are taken without their permission. The same applies when it comes to taking and using someone else’s ideas as if they were yours. But somehow many fail to make this connection. This type of theft is called plagiarism and it is common among university students. Check out what Dictionary.com says about it:
An act or instance of using or closely imitating the language and thoughts of another author without authorization and the representation of that author’s work as one’s own, as by not crediting the original author.
So let’s get it straight. Thou shalt not steal! Using someone else’s ideas without their permission is theft. It’s dishonesty. It’s cheating. It’s illegal. It’s deception. It’s fraud. It’s a sinful act. It’s to lie. It’s an offense. It’s serious. It’s piracy. It’s appropriation. It’s infringement. It’s counterfeiting. It’s misrepresentation. It’s cribbing. It’s passing off. It can get you in trouble. It can get you expelled from the university. It can taint your career forever. It can be a thorn in your flesh. In worse cases you can wind up jail.
What’s worse is that once you are used to it, once it becomes a habit, it’s tough to get over it. It’s an addiction. It’s a pathology. You’re a pathological lier. You lied your way to a university degree. That’s 3 or 4 or 5 or more years of lying. You’re not only a lier but a lie yourself. You’re not really made of what you claim to be made of. Your work ethic is deceitful. Now you take the nasty habit to the workplace. God help us all if you become a government official. If you can steal ideas when you could just easily cite the source, then what can stop you from emptying the state’s coffers into your pockets? Is that corruption?
To learn more about plagiarism and honest writing practices, check out http://www.plagiarism.org.
- The Chief Rabbi of France Forced Out Because He Plagiarized (zwingliusredivivus.wordpress.com)
- 6 WordPress Plugins To Combat Plagiarism With (wpjedi.com)
- Dear Plagiarists – STOP IT NOW! (socialsolutionscollective.com)
- John McIntyre on varieties of plagiarism (languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu)